You may have noticed that things were very quiet here on the blog. A month ago, my stepfather passed away. His death was a huge, awful surprise. Even though he had many health issues, he had been doing really well for quite some time. So when I got my sister’s text on Tuesday, February 15, letting me know that my stepdad was gone, it was a shock. And at that moment, I knew that I had to go home to comfort and help my mom.
My two weeks in Rio went by too fast–as they always do. There were tears, but there was laughter too. We shared stories about my stepdad, and we spent a lot of time together, just enjoying each other’s company. I even had a few hours to shop at Polo Textil, the Rio equivalent to LA’s Fashion District. This was a very special visit as my sisters came with me, and they even bought fabric to sew a skirt!
The weather in Rio is variations of hot and humid. Since going naked is frowned upon, a second best is anything made with rayon (viscose in Portuguese). The variety is dizzying, but for someone who does not wear colors, pickings are slim. Worst case scenario, I end up with another variation of B&W polka dots. This time, I was lucky to find a nice array of black fabrics and some fun prints.
Black Swiss Dot Rayon
This is a super drapey but rather thin rayon. This one will definitely need a lining. The dots are larger than traditional swiss dots. I want to use it to sew the Legend Sisters’ Willow Dress by the for a Boy Harsher concert in April.
Black Textured Rayon
It is hard to see the texture here—it almost looks like linen. It has a lot more body than the other rayons without losing the drape. I want to use this one to sew the Pippa Wrap Dress by Designer Stitch Studio.
B&W Zodiac Rayon
I was unsure about this one as it has a lot of white. My sisters changed my mind. This print is very bold, so I want to use it with a pattern with simple, clean lines.
Leopard Print Rayon
This one is very out of my comfort zone, but I think that with the right pattern, it will look great. The vintage-y style of McCalls 7381 seems like a great pairing.
When cariocas (those born in the city of Rio de Janeiro) need to cool off, the beach is always a great idea. I don’t care for the beach for its tanning properties, but I like watching the ocean with a cold drink in my hand–and when it is not 100+ outside.
I had plans to sew one new swimsuit, the Maggie by Seamwork, but now it looks like I will have to sew two!
Bright-Colored Galaxy on Dark Blue Background Spandex
This print is so cute! The celestial bodies are colorful and bright, popping against the dark blue background. I am not much for color, but I could not resist how adorable this print was.
White Stars on Blue Background Spandex
This is a lot more my style—a simple, understated print. It seems I have a thing for astronomy (and astrology too!). I don’t go to the beach nearly as much to justify two swimsuits, so I need to plan more vacations by the ocean… or at least by the pool.
Ricardo Mendes de Faria, 1944-2022
The wonderful thing about sewing is that for each piece you sew, there is a context, a historical background, and the feelings and experiences you were living when you sewed that garment. These fabrics and the clothing they will eventually become will always be linked to this moment–the loss, but also the memories and the joy that my stepfather left behind.